Tournaments

There are many tournaments that are not organized great, flaws are okay, it is also okay not to have everything on 25k. But one tournament I remember specially “good”.
Last year me and my doubles partner Emily Webley Smith arrived to Spain on 25k tournament. We needed some points and at the end of may our choice fell on this small tournament, somewhere close to
* .
We asked for transportation , a pick up from the airport, as it was not that far, but obviously we got “no”as an answer, so we took a train and got promised that we will be picked up at the train station.
Obviously when we arrived there, there was no car, we tried to find a taxi and there was no taxi in that city. Thanks god Emily has a British sim card which works everywhere in Europe so she could
call tournament director. Very rudely he answered that we have to walk to the hotel, as it is not that far, fairly it was not that far only 1.8 kilometres, but a suitcase, a tennis bag, and additional
bag are not that comfortable to walk with. I have to also mention that there were a lot of uphills , finally we arrived to hotel, it was 4 pm in the afternoon and there were no available rooms,
even though we had a reservation 🙂 after 30 more minutes of arguing we got a room. Room price was 80 euros without breakfast. We went to the room to find absolutely old rooms, with leaking ceiling,
not the room you want to have for 80 euros on 25k. But we had no choice as this was the only available room in the one and only hotel of the city. Needless to say, we could not get lunch in hotel
or in the city at that time as it was too late for it.
In the morning we took a breakfast for 5 euros each, which contained of one croissant and one espresso. (thanks god the espresso was good).
First day in the club was quite chilled with no big problems, except the fact that the schedule of matches for next day came out at 10.20 pm, when matches started at 10 am next morning.
But that is okay 🙂 After that they put up the schedule for transportation, the first transport from hotel to site was at 9 in the morning, it was ridiculous as I had to warm up before my match and also needed some time to change, so having transport at 9 was impossible for me, I tried to talk to the tournament director, he was very rude and said that it is the best they can do as the drivers are volunteers and it is the first available time, then I talked to supervisor of the tournament and asked maybe to have a shuttle at 8-30 in the morning, but he said that this is up to tournament director, so there were no changes made. I was playing first match at 10 next morning, it was already really late, so I went back to the hotel and tried to recover for my match and stopped to argue . Next morning after our lovely nutrient breakfast me and Emily went out to wait for the shuttle, not surprisingly it was late, at 9-05 I started to call them as in the city the taxis don’t exist as I mentioned before, so shuttle was the only chance to get to the club, but nobody picked up, in the end the shuttle showed up at 9-23 exactly. I was in the tennis club at 9-45, so I rushed into the supervisors room and told him
everything, asked him for 15 additional minutes to warm up for the match, he said that he would love to give me that time , but I have to wait and ask to tournament director. Well guess what? He
said that it is not his problem that I did not have a rental car, and shuttle can be late so I have to go on court on time. I didn’t play great that match, not at all. Needless to say I lost that
match. I was very mad after it too. But I decided for myself to concentrate on doubles that week and forget all about that day. It worked out well, we won a tournament, I will not go into details
how bad was the lunch, and how much was the price. How they kicked out players out of the club house, if they just watched French Open on TV and did not order food or drinks.(also when the clubhouse
was completely empty) . That tournament had many flaws, but one last one was the prize money. After we finished our finals match, we went to get our prize money, and received a check, so we obviously
asked where we can cash it out, they said in any bank on Monday, as it was Friday evening by the time we finished our doubles match. Obviously we could not do it as we were flying out on Saturday,
on what a great tournament director answered us that it is also not his problem that we bought a flight on Saturday and did not decide to stay there till Monday. So it was not his problem that we had
another tournament on Monday, we had to wait for banks to cash out the check. Then he said we can cash it out in the airport, which was a lie, since we called the airport and asked if we could do it
and they said no. The check said “valid only in Spain” on the side of it, so we could not use it in any other country too. So again we got zero help from the tournament, supervisor or tournament
director. Tournament director went so low that he even insulted players with offensive words. And when I told him that he should not be creating the tournament if he has no wish to do so, he answered
me with direct insult. He even told me that in my age I should have a man that will pay my expenses. And he asked why do we even need that prize money it is only 700 euros, so it is not much and
should not be that big of a deal. He told my doubles partner that it is not nice to fight for the money and he does not believe that she needs it. We left to the hotel very upset.
The next morning we had to walk same 1.8 km in uphill to get to the train station and then get to the airport. And never see that place again. It was one of the most unpleasant tournaments I played last year. Unfortunately not the only one, but one of….
I’ll start to post more tennis stories on my blog from now on , if you have any questions. let me know 🙂

ავტორი: Sofia Shapatava

I am tennis player, who travels the world. I want to share stories about my personal experiences, travels and a lot of other things. I have a lot to share and I am willing to share. I want to write the ugly and pretty things that happened to me along the way, throughout of my ten year travels and my life in general. Hope it will be fun. :)

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